14 Resume Writing Tips

Following up on my previous post about 11 funny resume blunders, I would like to share some of the tips you could use while writing your resume

  1. Check spelling mistakes and grammatical errors: It is very common to make spelling and grammar mistakes, and trust me it is suicidal to make one in your resume. Imagine ‘ruining’ instead of ‘running’ and ‘pubic’ instead of ‘public’. Check for homonyms. Though almost all text editors have spell check software, they cannot correct a right spelling in wrong place
  2. KISS: Keep it short and simple; unless absolutely needed do no elaborate or detail your resume. For e.g. I have an experience of  4 years in the field of Information and Technology can be written as 4 years of experience in IT. It is acceptable. Use bullet points wherever you can instead of long paragraphs
  3. Proof read twice:  Proof read your resume at least 2 times before you think about submitting it. Take a print out of your resume and read it, it is easier to spot a mistake on paper than reading it on computer. Read it from last to start, bottom to up
  4. Ask a friend: You can ask your friend to have a look at your resume, fresh eyes are always better
  5. Personal Information: Do not include too much personal information on your resume; companies hire you for your professional skills. “Son of a retired Army Major” is not going to help you get a job. Hobbies and interest should also be avoided, you might be an excellent cricketer, but unless it supports your candidacy do not share it with your potential employer
  6. Use Numbers: Numbers stand out, if you can quantify your achievements, nothing like it. For e.g. instead of writing, “Significantly increased sales”, “increased sales by 23%” would be better
  7. Prioritize:  Put the most important sections at the top, and even inside a section put most important things on the top. You can also choose to sort a section chronologically, but try to put all the important sections on top
  8. Fonts and Format: Your resume is not a love letter, use professional fonts such as Arial, Georgia, Times. Chose the font size judicially, point size 11 is good. 12 safe for normal writing, do not capitalize and do not overdo use of bold letters.
  9. Multiple Resumes: Have 2 or more resume, 1 generic and others if you are applying for a specific job. If you know the job description beforehand, try to include skills that will demonstrate how you suit it. Keep your resume updated
  10. Incorrect information: This is a strict NO, do not lie or provide false information in your resume. It is very easy for an experienced interviewer to catch some skills you have mentioned but you do not possess.  Also almost all companies now do a background check, so providing false information can cost you your job and not to mention your reputation.
  11. Resume Length: The shorter the better, but it does not mean you should exclude information, try to include all necessary information. The length is always debatable
  12. Use Action Verbs: Action verbs will get you notice more easily, some examples of action words are ‘Addressed’ , ‘Incorporated’, ‘Illustrated’. A comprehensive list is available here
  13. Resume Templates: Be wary of free resume templates available online, also do not copy other resume and make changes on it. You are unique, so should be your resume.
  14. Get Professional help: Your resume is your professional self on paper. Do not hesitate to get your resume analyzed or written by a professional resume writer. 

Note: I intent to publish this article on a new blog I am planning to start around the same theme.

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